20 minutes a day with an anti-migraine device…

It’s the latest migraine gadget that everyone is talking about.  It’s the Cefaly Anti-migraine Device!

The Cefaly device is another application of neuro stimulation technology.  Specifically, it’s transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which delivers an AC electrical pulse to the supraorbital nerve.

How do you use it?  In this case, the device is used as a preventative.  It’s placed on your forehead for a few minutes each day.

A study published this month in the journal Neurology tried the device or a placebo (sham device) on 67 patients.  The patients who used the real Cefaly device (group 1 below) showed a significant decrease in “migraine days” each month:

Cefaly Trial:  Migraine Days per Month

Now that may not look like a major improvement, but it did mean a decrease of 30%.  And that’s an average – some saw a much greater improvement (38% had a drop of 50% in migraine days or more).

Cefaly device

Convenient?  The device has been compared to the visor worn by Geordi La Forge in Star Trek the Next Generation.  I must protest – it looks more like the crown of an alien princess.  It’s a band that goes on the forehead – small, easy to use, and drug-free.

Currently it comes with a significant price tag – US$368 on amazon, and $239.99 at Costco in Canada, for example.  This will certainly keep a lot of people from giving it a try.

On the other hand, the initial results are encouraging for a device that’s non-invasive and not likely to give you the side effects that drugs would.  If it works for you, several more pain-free days each month would probably be worth the cost.

But it is good news to see more of these devices being tested and hitting the market, because we’re learning more and more about what works best and for whom.

Study:  Migraine prevention with a supraorbital transcutaneous stimulator
Cefaly website (international)
Cefaly Canada website

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6 comments… add one
  • Peg Feb 21, 2013

    I love that you include possible migraine solutions that aren’t prescription medications. Can you do some research on the Baltic Amber beads? I have heard that they can help with migraines, but haven’t been able to find enough research to actually support it. I have had chronic migraine disorder for four years. I have been able to manage it with preventative/abortive medication, but I recently found out I am pregnant and am now looking for holistic approaches to dealing with my migraines.

  • Walter Mason Feb 23, 2013

    It looks pretty cool

  • Nic Mar 22, 2013

    I have a cefaly and it seems to be working. I started using it a month ago at the recommendation of a neurologist at a headache clinic. I also switched medication at the same time so it is hard to tell. But I am on a lower dose of medication then I was before Cefaly and am not having more headaches I wear it in the morning and in the evening everyday. I also wear it when I have a migraine. It’s nice to have something to use that isn’t a medication.

  • JM May 20, 2013

    It’s taken some getting used to but I can tolerate it well now and it has erased some migraines for me. I’m using it daily and am not sure yet if the result is fewer migraines, but I also use it with a migraine. There is almost always some improvement, sometimes temporary, sometimes lasting.

  • Tanya Aug 9, 2014

    Unfortunately Costco Canada does not carry the Cefaly anymore, nor do they have plans to in the future.

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